Taking Control of Pre-Diabetes
Say you’re shoveling coal into a boiler that runs a steam train. The train isn’t going anywhere, so the coal isn’t being used to power the locomotive. The boiler is already full, but you keep on shoveling. The engineer keeps turning up the heat in the boiler to burn all that coal, but eventually the machine can’t keep up and starts to break down.
This is a very simplified description of what happens to a person with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Dr. Matthew Davies, an endocrinologist at Swedish Medical Center, puts it this way. We are living a relatively sedentary lifestyle. We have a high calorie/high carbohydrate diet. This means we are “trying to stuff sugar and other carbohydrates into muscles that are already full.” We need more of the hormone insulin to help glucose (digested sugars and carbohydrates) enter the cells and be used for energy. “Eventually, the pancreas can’t make all of the insulin the person needs and begins to wear out,” Davies says.